This week we are looking at the global politics of climate change in advance of the upcoming COP26 conference.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and is the annual UN climate change conference. The conference will be attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994. More than 190 world leaders are expected to arrive in Scotland. Together with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.
Among academics, campaigners, environmentalists and policymakers, COP26 is seen as a critical event: it's the moment at which countries must set out more ambitious goals for climate action five years on from the Paris Agreement. It also comes on the back of even more severe extreme weather events, evidence of rising global CO2 emissions, and continued biodiversity loss.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions - known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or ‘NDCs’. They agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at that time.
For this episode, host Professor Jennifer Hudson is joined by Lisa Vanhala, Professor of Political Science and the Principal Investigator of the ERC funded Climate Change Loss and Damage research project, Dr Elisa Calliari, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science, and Anjelica Johannson, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science.
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